Why Is My Child Behind In Reading?

Published November 4, 2015

Why Is My Child Behind In Reading?

It’s that time of year, report card season. You anxiously open the envelope and what do you see next to reading level? A minus. What? A minus sign, a number 1, a D…you see a mark that indicates YOUR child is behind. But how? But why? Is it because you are racing to football practice, soccer, gymnastics and fencing each week? Is it because after a long day of work, then rushing home to make dinner, getting homework done, running each child to practice that you were too tired to read this semester with your child? Is it because you marked off that your child read 20 minutes each night, but in reality, might have only read 20 minutes that week?

So is there someone to blame? Should you blame your child’s teacher for not being on top of it and making sure your child was getting extra help during the school day? Should you blame yourself because life is so busy? Should you blame your child for not really reading the full amount each week?


Life is so busy. This is not the 80’s. Between the competitive sports world and the competitive academic world, it’s hard to keep up. So, let’s take the blame away. Away from you, away from the teacher, and maybe even away from your child and focus not on who to blame, but how to fix the problem.

The first and fastest solution to helping a child “catch” up to their reading level is simple… High Frequency words. Every book is made up of 50%-60% of high frequency words. These are typically words that don’t follow a specific spelling pattern which in turn means you can’t sound these words out, or that these specific words appear so often in text that your child needs to automatically read them. So how does this help your child’s reading level? When a child can automatically say a vast amount of words, without stumbling on them and trying to sound them out, they have 50% of the text read. This by itself solves your child’s fluency issues with reading. It will also give them confidence while they read.

If you don’t have time to flip through a list of high frequency words with your child, I have a YouTube station called Stretch and Catch Words, where your child can watch me review these words with them. You can also download many apps that help children review high frequency words.

You can find a list of high frequency words on my website at www.stretchandcatch.com